An Asian boom in jet travel will launch a $500 billion market in advanced jet engines like CFM International’s LEAP for the next-generation of narrow-body aircraft. CFM is a joint venture between GE and France’s Snecma. “Over the next 20 years, the numbers are very strong,” CFM president Jean-Paul Ebanga said at the Farnborough International Airshow, which started on Saturday. “We are in an industry today with a very strong future, and it’s up to us to make this happen.”
Smooth Landing: GE Aviation CEO David Joyce said in Farnborough that 2012 will be a “huge production year” for his business, and expects an even busier year in 2013.
The LEAP is already one of the bestselling engines in CFM’s history. The company’s orders and commitments reached $47.5 billion in 2011, from customers like Southwest Airlines, Virgin America, and Qantas. Today, CFM received another $1.9 billion order for 75 LEAP-1B engines from Air Lease Corp. to power its new Boeing 737 MAX aircraft. More orders are expected as the show proceeds.
Strong demand for GE’s jet engine technology goes beyond CFM. David Joyce, president and CEO of GE Aviation, said today in Farnborough that 2012 will be a “huge production year” and expects an even busier year in 2013. Joyce said that GE and its joint venture partners, CFM and Engine Alliance, will deliver 3,400 engines this year and 3,600 during the next.
Today, there are 26,000 jet engines manufactured by GE and its partners flying, the world’s largest installed engine base. New orders will swell this number to 45,000 engines by 2020. Some 40 percent of the working engines have yet to make their first maintenance shop visit. Joyce pointed out that GE had a $75 billion long-term services contract backlog.
Joyce also discussed GE’s plans for the GE9X engine that his business is developing for Boeing’s proposed next-generation 777 wide-body plane. “This is a very, very critical decision for them and it’s a critical decision for us,” Joyce said. “We feel really confident that the calling card for GE in this next-generation of 777s will be the technology we’re developing.”
The GE90 engine, the world’s largest and most powerful engine, powers the current fleet of the 777 aircraft. The GE9X engine would utilize ceramic matric composites, a revolutionary new material that will serve in the LEAP engines, and also advanced composites developed for the GEnx engine now powering Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner and 747-8 planes.
GE Reports will cover more developments at the Farnborough airshow throughout the week.